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Can I buy Grail stock?

Grail is no longer going public. But you can buy stock in its parent company, Illumina.

Grail has cancelled its IPO. Instead, the company has been bought by fellow US-based healthcare company, Illumina. Even though you won’t be able to buy stock in Grail directly, there are still ways to back the company.

Latest updates

December 16: Illumina has criticized EU regulators in court for the Commission’s scrutiny of its acquisition of Grail.

August 18: US biotech company Illumina acquires Grail, even though the European Commission has not completed its review of the acquisition.

April 20: In response to competition concerns, EU antitrust regulators will examine Illumina’s proposed acquisition of Grail.

March 30: The Federal Trade Commission has filed to block Illumina’s proposed acquisition of Grail.

What we know about the Grail IPO and acquisition

On August 18, 2021, Illumina, Inc. announced that it purchased Grail, which develops cancer detection tests, for $7.1 billion.

Prior to this, Grail had been considering going public. On September 9, 2020 it filed a draft registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The company had planned to conduct an IPO on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “GRAL.” Altogether, it was hoping to raise $100 million from the offering.

On August 23, just 5 days after being bought out, Grail submitted a withdrawal request to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), effectively cancelling its IPO.

Though owned by Illumina, Grail remains a separate company as EU regulators conduct an antitrust investigation of the acquisition. The issue concerns whether the deal will reduce competition and innovation in the field of genetics-based cancer detection testing.

There has been no indication that Grail will have an IPO in the future. We’ll update this page as more information becomes available.

About Illumina

Illumina, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ILMN) is a diagnostic healthcare company headquartered in California, USA. It develops solutions for genetic and genomic analysis used in research and clinical settings. Among its portfolio are products and services used in life sciences, oncology, reproductive health, agriculture and other emerging segments.

Illumina’s year-end revenue in 2020 was $3.24 billion, down from $3.54 billion in 2019.

How to invest in Grail from Canada

Although you won’t be able to buy Grail stock directly, you can still invest in its parent company, Illumina, which trades on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol “ILMN.” To buy US stocks, you need to open a stock trading account with a Canada-based broker than provides access to US stock exchanges.

Learn more about Illumina stock

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Tax implications of buying US stocks in Canada

Agreements between Canada and the US require Canadians holding US stock investments to pay the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a 15% withholding tax on any dividends earned on their US stocks. Interest earned from bonds or other interest-yielding US investments are similarly taxed at a rate of 10%.

An exception is made for stock investments held in trust exclusively designed to provide retirement income. Such trusts include RRIFs, LIRAs, LIFs, LRIFs and Prescribed RRIFs. RRSPs are also exempt from US withholding tax if you own US investments in the form of US stocks, bonds or ETFs.

Investment accounts that do not qualify for this exemption include RESPs, TFSAs and RDSPs.

All income from investments, including foreign investments, must be declared as part of your income on your Canadian tax return. Unless your US earnings are exempt from withholding tax, this means you’ll be double taxed on those earnings — first by the IRS, then by the CRA. However, the CRA may allow you to claim foreign tax credits for any taxes you’ve already paid to the IRS.

Speak with a tax professional to find out what rules and exceptions apply to your circumstances.

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